Open Source Community Building

A very neat masters thesis project via Hannes: "Open Source Community Building." by Matthias Stuermer (University of Bern).

Building an active and helpful community around an open source project is a complex task for its leaders. Therefore investigations in this work are intended to define the optimum starting position of an open source project and to identify recommendable promoting actions by project leaders to enlarge community size in a healthy way. For this paper eight interviews with committed representatives of successful open source projects have led to over 12 hours of conversation about community building. Analysing the statements of these experienced community members exposed helpful activities that led to the presently prospering communities of their projects. Summarizing the conclusions of this qualitative research a table with conditions for successful open source project initialisation and a subject-level promotion matrix of community building could be created. They include suggestions o­n how to start a new open source project and how to improve and increase the community of an already advanced open source project.

Hannes points on the do's and don't:

  1. Do it for yourself.
  2. Don't loose yourself in perfectionism.
  3. Do accept others ideas and work, too.
  4. Do communicate openly.
  5. Don't speak of ideas but contribute solutions.
  6. Do behave nicely.
  7. Do serious marketing.

I am concerned with innovating communities and since I am looking for evidences of non-institutional R&D project (a potential paper I definitely do not know where to publish). I like that kind of work! Enquiries about innovation management is of tremendous interest. Understanding such kind of processes in countercultural organisations (squats, independent music label...) might also sound god